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West Africa: "Looking for our families - Help the Red Cross find them"

30-11-2005 News Release 05/70

Geneva (ICRC) - Years of armed conflict and internal disturbances in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea have left thousands of people without news of their families, including innumerable children who became separated from their parents in the midst of the chaos.

Today, the National Red Cross Societies of these countries and the delegations of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in West Africa are jointly launching their sixth campaign to help reunite these children with their families. The National Societies are contributing to this endeavour with a network of hundreds of tracing officers and volunteers.

Entitled “Looking for our families – Help the Red Cross find them, this campaign will use posters displaying pictures of 371 children registered by the ICRC in the four countries. The posters will be distributed and put up in public places such as markets, hospitals, schools and camps for refugees and displaced people throughout the region.

Anyone who sees the pictures and recognizes a child can help find the child's parents or close relatives by contacting a Red Cross office. The assistance of the public has proven invaluable in enabling tracing services to bring these children and their families back together again.

By the end of 2005 the ICRC expects to have reunited around 2500 people with their families worldwide during the year,   most of them children living in Africa.

 


For further information, please contact:
  Robin Waudo, ICRC Monrovia tel: +231 6 519 967 or +231 6 528 089
  Carlo Piccinini, ICRC Abidjan. tel: +225 224 000 70 or +225 05 391 602
  Philippe Stoll, ICRC Freetown tel: +232 22 233 162 - 233 172 or +232 76 821 506
  Iris Von Birgelen, ICRC Conakry tel: +224 13 408 053 / 351 361
  Marco Jiménez Rodríguez, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 22 71 or +41 79 217 32 17